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A study of the effects of teacher attitude and curriculum structure on preschool disadvantaged children

Erickson, E.; Bonnell, J.; Hofmann, L.; McMillan, J.
This study examined the effect of two experimental preschool programs (DISTAR, Nursery School model) on the academic achievement of low-SES preschool students. Seven teachers who were most opposed to a highly structured program were assigned to Group I; and seven teachers least opposed were assigned to Group II. Three teachers from Group II and four from Group I were assigned to classes in Experiment A (DISTAR), and four teachers from Group II and three from Group I were assigned to Experiment B (Nursery School model). Students were randomly assigned to either of the experimental programs. Similar students from the geographic area were included as a control group for both studies. The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test (SBIT) and subtests of the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities (ITPA) were administered to all three groups to estimate changes in language development. After one year of instruction, results indicate both experimental groups demonstrated larger IQs and higher scores on the SBIT than students in the control group. Results from the SBIT indicate that on average, students in the DISTAR group had an IQ of 108.1 and students in the Nursery School group had an average IQ of 105.7. Students in the control group had an average IQ of 94.8. Early analysis of teacher attitudes suggests that teacher preference for type and emphasis of preschool program are more relative to student achievement during post-treatment than during the pre-treatment phase. (Copyright © 2011, National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI). All rights reserved).
Research areas:
Main publication type:
Program Effectiveness
DISTAR; Nursery School model; language; Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test; Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities
Western Michigan University
Design type:
Posttest only control group design
Fidelity monitored:
Students included:
Low-SES students, preschool students
Grand Rapids, Michigan, preschool, public school, Midwest

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